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Archdiocese of Bucharest replaces priest spokesman said to equate Jews and virus

The Archdiocese of Bucharest replaced a former senior spokesperson who was accused of equating Jews to a virus.

Tarcizio-Hristofor Șerban on Thursday replaced Francisc Dobos as spokesman for the archdiocese, the spokesperson’s department said in a statement.

The statement did not say why Dobos, who had been spokesperson since 2011, was replaced. On Facebook, Dobos said only that his “assignment has ended.”

On April 9, in a filmed greeting ahead of Easter, Dobos spoke about how the disciples of Jesus “feared the Jews,” adding: “And here in the bracket we should read: feared the virus.”

Dobos rejected criticism from the MCA Romania Center for Monitoring and Combatting Antisemitism, which said in a statement that his reference to the virus risked equating it with Jews.

“Someone interpreted my words as equating Jews with a virus. I was shocked that some made such an association. Then a wave of virulent reactions broke out against me,” Dobos wrote on April 13 on Facebook.

The archbishop of Bucharest, to whom the spokesperson answers, was replaced in January when Aurel Percă took over from Ioan Robu.

Source: JTA and TOI

Header: Aurel Perca – Metropolitan Archbishop of Bucharest, Inquam – Octav Ganea


Father Francisc Dobos:

“On April 9, 2020, I posted an Easter video message. Most of you have seen it. There I was referring verbally to this verse:

“In the evening of the same day, the first of the week, though the doors of the place where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them,“ Peace be with you. you!”. (John 20:19)

I paraphrased saying that in these days of pandemic we are locked in houses for fear of a virus. And I added that not out of fear, but out of prudence. My intention was this: even if we are locked up or in houses, the risen Jesus comes to us.”

I spoke with representatives of the Jewish community in Romania. It did not seem to any of them that my post was anti-Semitic. My friend and rabbi Rafael Shaffer can testify in this regard. I reaffirm my esteem, appreciation and long-standing friendship with the Jewish community in Romania.”